The US warned Iraq on Sunday that it is preparing to permanently shut down its embassy in Baghdad unless the Iraqi government stops a series of rocket attacks by Shiite militias against American interests.

The ultimatum was delivered in recent phone calls by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

The two Iraqi officials also said the US has begun taking preliminary steps to close the embassy in the next few months, that the closure may occur simultaneously with the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and that the Consulate General in Erbil will be kept open.

Militant groups have been frequently launching mortar attacks against Iraqi military bases housing US troops and the US embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, where some foreign embassies are also located.

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